BEEF SIRLOIN & SWEET POTATO SALSA (paleo, gluten, grain, dairy free)

 

This is another easy and beautifully nutritious meal that is ideal for seasonal change. Great to cook a bit extra to have for lunch the following day too! If you are coming into Spring and feel like a cleanse then I would suggest omitting the steak or making this an early evening meal so you have plenty of time to digest before bed.

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 2 sirloin steaks (grass-fed, organic)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4/5 mushrooms
  • 4/5 tomatoes / 3/4c tomato puree
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • bunch coriander
  • salt and pepper

Lettuce baskets:

  • 4 cos lettuce leaves
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 2 tsp sauerkraut

Directions:
Bake sweet potatoes in oven at 170C until soft

In a pot, add a tsp coconut oil/ butter and fry the garlic and chopped mushrooms well until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins then add chili, vinegar, salt and pepper and lastly chopped coriander

Pan-fry the sirloins to your desired level

Remove cooked sweet potatoes from the oven. Cut in half, scoop out a spoonful from each and add this to the salsa mix, stirring through. Fill sweet potatoes with salsa

Assemble the cos lettuce leaves with diced tomato, avocado, sauerkraut

Plate the sirloin and serve!

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Recipe: DARK CHOCOLATE & BANANA DESSERT (sugar, dairy & gluten free, paleo, vegan)

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The great thing about preparing paleo meals is the massive room for experimentation – once you’re used to the new set of rules and the ingredients at hand, there are so many ways to approximate paleo versions of old favorites, or invent entirely new meals. Here’s a dessert I made up a few weekends ago that was absolutely delicious – a perfect complement of flavours with the dark bitterness of the chocolate, the sweetness of the banana and the richness of coconut. After freezing, the hard/soft textures really come into play too.

To echo the preface of my last “treat” recipe (chocolate coconut rough) – it’s so important to know your sweeteners and avoid the nasty ones (cane sugar, HFCS, agave etc). As always, don’t reward with sweets as this only reinforces the reward and pleasure triggers in our brain. If you’re craving sugar fill up on proper, whole foods and fats. When you do feel like a treat, stick to healthy recipes like this one:

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 banana

Preparation:

Line a small bowl or large coffee cup with a square of baking paper (about 10cm x 10cm)

Directions:

Put a small pot on a low heat, add the coconut oil and water and slowly melt them down. Add the cocoa and stir until smooth. Turn the heat off and add the desiccated coconut and stir well.

Thinly slice the banana and stir into the chocolate mix.

Spoon the mixture into your cup or bowl and place in the freezer for at least an hour.

To serve:

Take your pudding out of the freezer 10 minutes before you plan to eat it.

Pull it away from the baking paper and return to the mug or bowl.

Take a teaspoon to CONSUME & ENJOY!

Recipe: PIZZA BASE (gluten, grain & dairy free)

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We can eat pizza and be nourished!!! A far cry from the heavily processed sugar laden white flour, gut fermenting quick yeast and artery clogging hydrogenated plant oils, this pizza base is made with 100% natural unadulterated ingredients. Packed full of essential nutrients, fats and proteins and it hasn’t even bet dressed yet!

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Ingredients
1 medium sized head of cauliflower (3 cups once chopped up in the food processor)
2 TBSP almond flour
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP dried basil
1/2 TSP dried oregano

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 230 deg celsius
Cut one big square of non-stick baking paper or greased baking paper
Place a baking tray or pizza stone in the oven
Wash and throughly dry the cauliflower

Directions
Discard most of the cauliflower stem and pulse the florets in a food processor until you get a powdery snow like quality.

Transfer the cauliflower snow to a covered pot and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool.

Once cool enough to handle wrap the snow up in the tea towel and ring the water out of it, squeezing out as much water as possible!

In a bowl place the cauliflower and mix in the spices, almond flour, coconut oil and egg. Use your hands to ensure best mixing.

Place the mixture on the baking paper and press it firmly and tightly into a crust shape before transferring it onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray.

BAKE FOR ABOUT 12 MINUTES, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up

Top with your favourite toppings, serve and devour!

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Tips to tweak

Vegan base – substitute eggs for chia mixture: 1/4 cup of chia seeds +  3/4 cup of water, stirred well and refrigerated for 15 mins before use.

Fluffier base – add more eggs

Crunchier base – add extra almond flour and coconut oil and increase cooking time

Cheesy base – add 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Healthy topping ideas

Sliced up and fried/grilled: courgette / carrot / mushroom / tomatoes / peppers / garlic / onion / bacon (nitrate-free) / salami (nitrate free) / salmon (wild)/ chicken (organic)

Placed raw on top: avocado / baby spinach / coriander / rocket / mayo / sour cream / olives / sun-dried tomato / capers

Grilled on top: raw cheese / nuts / seeds

Recipe: PAN-FRIED LAMB CHOPS & VEGES (gluten, grain & dairy free)

img_4300Whether you’re enjoying the shift into Autumn or Spring this recipe will satisfy your tastebuds and bring a wealth of health benefits! I bought my autumn lamb from the lovely organic and sustainable Daylesford Farm. At Daylesford the animals roam freely and feed on organic rotated pastures.

Wherever possible please do select certified organic meat, or get down to your local farmers market and chat with the vendor about how the animals are raised – there are many high quality sustainable “organic” farmers who are yet to be certified.

Choosing organic, grass-fed meat is not just hip to request, nor is it just a fad – it’s better for our health, animals and environment:

Our health

  • Richer in heart and brain-friendly omega-3 unsaturated fats – reduces the chances of unhealthy blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder / hyperactivity, or Alzheimer’s disease. Read more here
  • Richer in antioxidants – vitamins E, C and A (over 400% more vitamin A)
  • Contain no traces of added hormones, antibiotics or other drugs and virtually devoid of risk of Mad Cow Disease
  • Higher in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – helps fight cancer, improve insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and reduce blood pressure, inflammation and fat stores. Read more here
  • Lower in total fat and calories – grass-fed meat can have just one third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed animal
  • Lamb has twice as much iron as pork, three times that of chicken and six times as fish!

Animal health

  • Animals have plenty of space to freely roam, reducing stress and disease
  • They are fed good quality food that is free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • They are not fed hormones to make them grow faster and must only be given drugs to treat an illness (the routine use of antibiotics is prohibited). Read more here.

Environmental health

  • Organic growing methods use crop rotation and organic matter instead of artificial and chemical fertilisers. In fact the animals grazing on grass can do their own fertilising and harvesting all year round, made all the better in combination with solar energy
  • Nutrient-rich soil from organic farming helps grow strong healthy crops and also helps attract our natural pest and disease control – wildlife! A much better choice to toxic pesticides!
  • Less fossil fuel is used when animals are fed grass in contrast to being squashed into feeding yards eating dried corn and soya
  • The grazed pasture removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which helps to slow global warming

You’ve heard it a million times before, but it really is true: “you are what you eat!”. It’s a no-brainer that you will look and feel better if you eliminate the toxins, hormones, and antibiotics from your food. Make yourself from fresh, living essential enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and keep everyone happy!

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PAN FRIED LAMB CHOPS & VEGES – THE RECIPE!  

Ingredients (for 1 person)

2 lamb chops

1/2 bunch of carrots

1/2 bunch kale

1/2 leek

1 clove of garlic

1 TBSP coconut oil

salt and pepper

Preparation

Pre-heat two pans on a low heat and share the coconut oil between the them

Finely chop the garlic, leek and kale

Chop the carrots into finger lengths

Directions

To one of the heated pans add the garlic, leek, kale, salt and pepper. Fry on a medium to high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally (try to get a nice sweet sticky texture). Then cover and turn to low for the next 10 minutes while you’re cooking the lamb. Before serving take the lid off and fry on high for another 2 minutes to dry out the veg, making it sweet and sticky again.

To the second pan add the lamb, garlic, salt and pepper. Fry over a high heat for 2 minutes to sear the meat then turn to medium/low heat for 6-8 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking bring a pot of hot water to the boil and add the carrots and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes then turn the heat off, drain and leave in the covered pot.

Turn the chops and fry the other sides on high for 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium/low for another 4-6 minutes – depending on how you like your lamb cooked.

Plate the veg and meat then add the carrots to the meat pan with a splash of water and fry for a minute or so constantly stirring so the carrots are dressed with the meat and seasoning juices.

Consume and enjoy! This is just as delicious the next day for lunch if there are any leftovers!

Recipe: FIGS FOR PUDDING! (vegan, gluten, dairy & grain-free)

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Get back to natural sweetness with these yummy fig based desserts / accompaniments. Remember how much better fruit is as a sweet treat over addictive processed sugar! As low in natural sugar as strawberries and with all those tiny seeds figs are an excellent source of fibre – a much better go to than any grain based fibre!

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FRESH FIG PUDDING

Ingredients:

4 fresh figs

1 TBSP coconut oil / butter /ghee

Pinch of cinnamon / ginger / cocoa

Grated 85-100% chocolate / toasted coconut flakes / cream (ideally raw)

Directions: 

Wash the figs then cut them into halves. Add oil to a pan and when hot add the figs and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they look caramelised.

Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon / ginger / cocoa / grated chocolate / cream / toasted coconut flakes (fry flakes in a pan on high for 1-2 mins constantly stirring)

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DRIED FIG PUDDING

Ingredients:

8 dried figs

2 TBSP coconut oil

1/2 cup just off boiling water

2 TBSP cocoa powder (optional)

pinch of salt

Directions:

Using a hand blender blend all ingredients together until fluffy and smooth.

Serve as a hot sauce over good quality ice-cream / chopped frozen banana pieces OR chill the mixture and spread over cookies / crackers or simply eat as is!

Recipe: SQUASH, COURGETTE & CORIANDER MASH (gluten, dairy & grain-free, vegan)

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This mash is super delicious and a great healthy way to bring substance to your meals – perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner! You can serve with eggs, fish, meat or have it alone as a soup. Low glycemic index, low sugar, high fibre, real live ingredients and with the wonders of turmeric = perfect mash!

Ingredients (makes enough for 3-4 servings):

1 butternut squash

3 large or 5 small courgettes

1 big bunch of coriander/cilantro

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric

Preparation:

Roast the whole squash (no need to peel) in the oven on 180deg for 40-60 minutes

Pan fry 3 grated courgettes in 1 TBSP coconut oil, half of the turmeric, salt and pepper – fry on a high heat for 3-5 mins covering with a lid, then turn the heat down and fry without a lid for another 10 mins – stir occasionally so it gets nice and sticky.

Peel and de-seed the cooked squash and using a hand blender blend it together with the courgette, coriander, remaining turmeric, salt and pepper

Serve and enjoy!

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The wonders of turmeric and its super ingredient curcumin!

  • aids memory function – is used to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • aids the immune system – is used to disrupt cancer causing cells
  • relieves joint inflammation – is used to help arthritis
  • speeds up wound recovery and post work-out muscle soreness
  • aids digestion
  • promotes healthy glowing skin
  • incredible antioxidant properties – surpassing vit E and C

Recipe: GINGER COOKIES (vegan, gluten, grain & dairy free)

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Ingredients (makes about 10 small cookies):

4 TBSP coconut oil or butter
2 TBSP raw honey/maple syrup/date syrup
1 c almond flour OR macadamia flour OR 1/2 c desiccated coconut & 3 TBSP coconut flour
1-2 TBSP fresh ground or powdered ginger
1 tsp baking soda

Preparation:

Melt the coconut oil and raw honey/maple syrup together on the stove, add a dash of water and wait for it to slightly thicken. Let it cool a bit

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together

Roll into balls then squash flat with fork

Bake on 165 C for about 10 mins until golden. Leave to cool, then keep in the fridge – these get better by the day!

The wonders of ginger!

  • thins the blood so can help with tension headaches and menstrual cramping
  • assists blood sugar imbalances so can help with diabetes and sugar cravings
  • immune booster and powerful antioxidant so great to ward off the common cold and clean out your system

Recipe: BAKED AVOCADO EGG NESTS (grain & gluten-free, vegetarian)

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These are so unbelievably delicious and nutritious – a quick and simple snack for any time of day!
Ingredients (serves one)
1 avocado
2 eggs
2 cherry tomatoes
1/2 courgette
1/2 carrot
sprig of parsley
Preparation
Cut avocado in half and remove the stone. Break 1 egg carefully into each of the halves. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 165 deg for about 15-20 mins. Take out and serve with sliced cherry tomatoes, grated courgette and carrot – raw or fry on low for 10 minutes with 1 TBSP of coconut oil.
Alternatively you could dress with bacon/salad/salsa/cheese.
Avocados are incredibly nutritious and packed full of the following nutrients and vitamins:
  • Fiber – helps mute blood sugar swings so excellent if you’re craving sugar or suffer from diabetes
  • Potassium – more than twice the amount found in a banana! Helps to lower blood pressure and carry oxygen to the brain – so excellent for headaches
  • Monounsaturated fat – easily used up and burned for energy – they WILL NOT make you gain weight!
  • Vitamin E – awesome antioxidant
  • B-vitamins – play many important roles in cell metabolism and regeneration
  • Folic acid – helps produce healthy red blood cells and also helps rapid cell division and growth – excellent in infancy and pregnancy

Eggs are also truly nutritious and bursting with goodness:

  • Protein – boosts energy and aids muscle building
  • All 9 essential amino acids – the building blocks for protein that can only be got through diet
  • Choline – particularly important for fetal brain development as well as overall brain function and health
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium – essential for a healthy immune system
  • Cholesterol – essential to every cell in our body! do not fear it! It helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function.

Recipe: BANANA LOAF (gluten & grain-free)

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This is a definite favourite of mine: perfect to have a slice with a green juice for a quick, on-the-go breakfast, or as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. Great treat for kids too, as it’s naturally sweetened, and rich in healthy fats and proteins.

Ingredients:

2 organic eggs
2-3 ripe bananas
1/3 – 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of almond flour or 1/2 cup of coconut flour (or a mixture of both. Add a little more if the mixture looks too wet)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of Himalayan salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 165C
Blend the wet ingredients for a minute or so until they appear airy and fluffy
Add the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix
Pour the mixture into a lined tin
Bake for 20-30 minutes

Variations

Try adding cinnamon / chocolate chips / raisins / sultanas / cranberries for a tasty variation!

This recipe can also be used to make mini-muffins